Translation of the original article in Greek: Lambros Chantzis
Tactile paving for persons with visual impairment was placed throughout the “Monastiraki” metro station by Athens Transport in cooperation with the social enterprise “Me Alla Matia”. After detailed mapping and plenty of work from focus groups of people with visual impairment, this pilot project has now been made available for use and evaluation by visually impaired passengers.
In coordination with this demanding project, the blind lawyer and President of the Social Cooperative Enterprise “Me Alla Matia” Mr. Vangelis Avgoulas, and the Mobility, Orientation, and Daily Living Skills Trainer for people with visual impairment Mr. Menelaos Tsaousis were involved.
This is not about an isolated step but one more level of a significant inclusion and accessibility pilot project!
The Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations (HCAP), in collaboration with the social enterprise “Me Alla Matia”, has developed a series of actions and training courses aimed at an Inclusive Strategy for the HCAP subsidiaries. An educational seminar entitled “Accessibility to corporate communication tools” was implemented for the Communication, Sustainability, and Marketing executives of its subsidiaries and participations, such as EYDAP. The motto was “Together we become accessible everywhere”.
This training, aimed at inclusive design and accessibility of services provided for all disabled people, supported EYDAP, for example, to develop its services. So, this year, for the first time, the Company turned its 2021 Sustainable Development Report into a talking point for equal access to information for visually impaired persons in the broader context of reducing inequalities and social exclusion.
The accessibility consulting provided by Me Alla Matia NPO to the HCAP has been opening a new page of inclusion in the organization and its subsidiaries for months. With training in support for disabled passengers, accessibility assessment of spaces such as the Consumer Market of CMFO with regular improvement proposals, pilot adaptations of accessibility at busy stations, provision of consultancy for access to information, and assessment of website accessibility…
Thus, we are laying the foundations for a future in which we will walk together, disabled and non-disabled people, equally and with co-configuration!
It is worth noting that the services provided by Me Alla Matia NPO are always supported by focus groups of disabled people with various impairments so that the material produced and the service offered not only to follow the legislation and European guidelines but are also certified by the end user.
“Such projects give jobs to disabled people and serve the life motto of the global disability movement “Nothing about us, without us”. Our cooperation proves that the diffusion of the dimension of accessibility to the subsidiaries of the Superfund is not a firework but an inclusive strategy and corporate philosophy”, said Mr. Avgoulas.
We are moving slowly but surely, despite many difficulties,
towards a more accessible and inclusive world.